On a recent episode of Paul McCartney’s iHeart Radio podcast, McCartney: A Life in Lyrics, he shared a specific fear John Lennon had expressed to him. “I remember him saying to me, ‘Paul, I worry about how people are going to remember me when I die,’” he recalled.
Paul assured John that people would consider him “great,” because he had “done enough work to demonstrate that.” He also discussed their personal and professional relationship up until John’s death in 1980. “I was like his priest,” he recounted. “Often I’d have to say, ‘My son, you’re great, don’t worry about it.’ It would make him feel better.”
Working with John Lennon
Paul talked about his experience working with John, pointing out that it was synergic, and they complemented each other excellently. “If anyone asks me, ‘What was it like to work with John?’ The fact was, it was easier, much easier, because there were two minds at work,” he said. “And that interplay was nothing short of miraculous.”
He also confessed to missing John’s “opposing element” to his work and wondering what he would think about the songs he’s put out since Lennon’s death. “Now I’m conscious that I don’t have him very much,” the bass guitarist said. “And you know, often we’ll sort of refer to, ‘What would John say to this? Is this too soppy?’ He would’ve said ‘da da da, so I’ll change it.’ I have to do that myself these days.”
Paul’s tribute to John
Paul’s 1982 solo track, “Here Today,” was a “love song” to reminisce fond memories John. “I was remembering things about our relationship and things about the million things we’d done together,” he said, noting that working on the song was “very moving, very emotional” for him. “I was just sitting there in this bare room thinking of John and realizing I’d lost him.”
For Paul, the song was like talking to Lennon and provided a sense of comfort for him as well. In 2022, he described losing Lennon as “difficult” on SiriusXM’s The Beatles Channel. “I remember getting home from the studio on the day that we’d heard the news he died and turning the TV on and seeing people say, ‘Well, John Lennon was this and what he was was this,’” Paul recounted. “It was like, I don’t know, I can’t be one of those people…I can’t just go on TV and say what John meant to me,” he explained. “It was just too deep. It’s just too much.”